Monday, April 14, 2003

My Summary of Kevin Lynch's White paper
Kevin Lynch, Chief Software Architect , Macromedia.

Internet Applications: A new frontier

Improving user experience is a core goal. They retain customers, save money and bring in more business.

Rich Internet appilcations combine the best of stand alone software applications and web applications to improve user experience.

Macromedia is using flash to integrate web and stand alone applications

A RIA ( Rich Internet Application ) should be able to work across devices, should be delivered instantly over the web, should be able to interact with each other. They should be prepared to live in a occasionally connected world, being standalone applications when not connected to the web.

They should have common protocols for storing data and manipulating them. The same data should be easily accessible by a variety of applications, instead of being stored in black boxes ( Excel, Outlook) today.

RIA would be contextual, they get to know their users better.( What they are doing( in a company meeting, giving a presentation) , where they are( Home/work/ Out of the country). This would let them behave better and co-operate among themselves better.

RIA's should be colloborative, designed to improve the experience of connecting people together.

Macromedia Central aims to deliver all these.

Key Features of Macromedia Central

Macromedia central acts as a 'Mall of Applications" allowing users to see, try and buy 3rd party applications. These apps would run within a secure framework, so malicious code will not affect the client.

Data can be stored and shared locally among applications using Flash's shared object capability.

Any URL can be cached ( Including XML, Jpeg, swf ! ).

The common stored data can be handled by different applications. User can locate a restaurant from restaurant review and click ' Find it" pwered by a different application.

All data exchanges done through XML.

Information about the user can be made available to applications ( What is his work, where does he live and work etc), GPS tracking can help build more innovative applications ( What cinemas near me run Lord of the Rings part 2 ?")

Central uses Actionscript 'Agents' to run chores ( Check web content for changes, track blogs etc). Sample application : Sell when Infosys stock touches 6300 and book Holiday at Jaipur.

What can RIA do ?

I wake up in a guest house at Bangalore, open the laptop, get connected and a window opens with predicted weather, top tech/science news, Gist of top 5 emails, movies/special events in the town( with ratings) in Bangalore , appointments for the day, Suggested recipe for the day, great deals at Food world/Gangarams/Pubs. I add some ingradients to be ordered automatically from Food world and get delivered to my guesthouse and book tickets for The Two Towers.

I get to office and get connected to the WI-Fi network. I receive a list of the items shipped from Food world and confirmation of the Two Towers movie tickets plus a offer from the Underground Pub for the evening.

The meeting is starting late and I have 30 mins for myself. I click on the Fill Time application and it tells me I can do the following

1. Read the top 10 updated blogs ( Expected to take 30 mins)
2. Write my blog for the day ( Expected to take 45 mins)
3. Reply to the 10 unreplied messages ( Expected to take 30 mins)
4. Work on my cookbook ( Expected to take 20 mins)
5. Read the couple of white papers I've downloaded ( Expected to take 60 mins)


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